Interest building in Joliet City Council election
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org November 14, 2012 5:22PM
Updated: December 19, 2012 12:00PM
JOLIET — A dozen potential candidates have petitions out for the Joliet City Council election in April, although one already has decided not to run.
The ballot for three citywide council positions still could be a crowded one, depending on how many people file petitions by the Dec. 24 deadline.
All three incumbents are running for re-election.
The spots open in the April 9 election are for council at-large positions, each of which is elected citywide.
Alicia Morales, who ran for city council in 2011 and took out petitions this time, said she just decided Wednesday not to run for office after learning about new job responsibilities.
“They’re going to be changing vastly next year,” Morales said. “I will not be able to take on the additional responsibilities of the city council.”
Morales was one of three unsuccessful candidates from the 2011 election who have been considering a campaign for 2013.
Others are Kevin Hegarty, who ran for mayor, and Vanessa Romeo, who ran for council in District One.
“I still haven’t made up my mind and am exploring my options,” said Hegarty. He has been gathering signatures in the meantime, however, saying, “I still think we need some additional fresh blood on the council.”
Another past mayoral candidate with petitions out is Robert Iuffues Webb, although he did not run in 2011.
Troy Township Clerk Jim McFarland has petitions out. Both McFarland and Hegarty also are past city employees.
McFarland was an employee in the late Mayor Arthur Schultz’s office, but his job was eliminated when Mayor Thomas Giarrante took over. Hegarty, a former public relations officer with the city, lost his job in budget cuts.
Chris Lunningham, a Democratic precinct committeewoman and a past officer in the Will County Democratic Party, has petitions out.
So do: Mike Lukavsky of 1507 Seiburg Street; David Piekosz of 1846 Corregidor St.; and John Gnutek of 1007 Erins Glen Drive.
The three incumbents running for re-election are Don Fisher, Jan Quillman and Michael Turk.
The city council has eight seats, including five district council members who are elected only by voters in those districts. The mayor also has a vote in council decisions.
Local municipalities and school boards will have elections in April. They were not on the ballot in the November elections.
The potentially interesting races in the area include the mayoral contest in Romeoville, where former Chicago Bears standout Steve McMichael plans to challenge Mayor John Noak.